I saw this question somewhere, “what’s the most selfish thing you’ve ever done or seen someone do?” Being the stupidly deep thinker that I am, I started wondering. Hmm… There are many things that I’ve done or see others do that come to mind. “Remember the time the guy on the road whistled at the dog and when the dog wagged his tail, he kicked him?” “No brain, that’s more cruel than selfish. Think harder.” And then I had it, the moment of epiphany. Below, I present to you my findings.
The most selfish thing that most of us do, even the best of people, whether knowingly or unknowingly is holding people back. It may arise because of how deeply we feel for the other person but that does not justify our doing that. For instance, a few weeks ago, my grandpa received a wedding invitation from estranged relatives (just estranged because of no contact for a long time). My grandpa wants to go because he likes those people and would like to meet them again. My grandma on the other hand, has been trying to convince him day in, day out to not go. Her reason? She’ll feel alone without him. “But grandma, we all will still be there,” we reply (we live with them and naturally do the work). “But you aren’t him. I want him,” she rues. That may seem cute at first but when I saw it, I immediately realised it wasn’t. I could see my grandpa, who deeply loves his wife, torn apart on what to do. I requested my grandma to not ask grandpa to not go and promised her I’d take care. She was, in a way, being selfish and thinking about her own happiness more than that of her significant other. Isn’t love supposed to be about each person being equally happy?
When we love someone, we want to be around that person as much as we can and we want to be involved in their life. However, what we fail to realise is that we must give the other person space to breath. We must let the other person do what makes them happy and not just what is according to our happiness. When our love overpowers reason, we hold the other person back from happiness and joy. This is when we’re selfish. And it isn’t a good thing, is it?